Singapore shophouses are lovely and this family chose to make one their home. It’s one that’s also part of a condo in Kallang so you have facilities too. Citylights on Jellicoe Road is fairly central but also near the sea – so it’s got the best of both worlds in a few ways!
Did you know? Jellicoe Road takes its name from John Rushworth Jellicoe (1859-1935), a British admiral who led the British Grand Fleet in the Battle of Jutland in World War I. He played a key role in the development of the Singapore Naval Base in Sembawang in the 1920s, and also served as Governor-General of New Zealand. Jellicoe Road intersects with Horne Road, which was also named after a prominent British WWI military leader, Sir Henry Horne.
Name: NICOLA PIGNE
Occupation: Marketing Manager (and looking for her next role!)
What’s the name of your street? Jellicoe Road.
What’s a common myth or misconception about your neighbourhood? When I first moved here, everyone kept telling me that the area has lots of funeral parlours. There might be one or two, but there’s plenty more to the area than that!
Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home? “Near Lavender MRT.”
Closest MRT station? Lavender (green East West line, between Bugis and Kallang).
How long have you lived here? We moved to the area six months ago. We wanted a four bedroom property for our family of five and loved the idea of living in a shophouse.
When you walk out of your place, what’s the first thing you see? Lots of beautiful tropical trees and plants, and a row of beautiful colonial shophouses.
What’s the closest store to your front door? A beauty salon.
If your street was chosen for a remake of a film, which would it be? I’m not sure, but it would have to be one set in a row of beautiful colonial shophouses!
We’re sure your neighbours are great, but is there anything you wouldn’t mind a little less of? I would love to see more families with kids of similar ages to mine.
What’s the unofficial uniform of your street? Lots of Birkenstocks – to be honest, it’s not an uncommon sight in Singapore!
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street? People doing Qigong in front of my house early in the morning. I am getting used to it now but the first time you see it, it can be quite surprising.
What are your favourite places to eat or drink in the neighbourhood? The thing that attracted us to this area was being within walking distance to Kampong Glam so I’ve adopted this as my local area. We like to eat at Bumbu on Kandahar Street, an Indonesian restaurant located in a very typical Singaporean shophouse. The food is delicious and it’s an all-round lovely experience to go there. I’m reticent to share this one as I like the fact it’s a bit of a local secret, but Going Om bar on Haji Lane is great for an evening drink – I love the chilled-out vibes and on-street seating. I can imagine the same bar on a beach in Goa somewhere! They also have live music upstairs. (Due to COVID, they livestream it on Instagram.) Flying Monkey on Bussorah Street is a very cool (and noisy) Indian restaurant. I love the atmosphere, the food and the funky décor.
What are the best places to shop at in the neighbourhood? Haji Lane for gifts, jewellery, clothes, and Arab Street for fabric. There are lots of great places around Kampong Glam to pick up unique lamps and crockery too.
What are some fun or interesting things to do in the neighbourhood? Just walking around Kampong Glam is great; you can see so much street art. I recommend you go and see Gelam Gallery, the Sultan Mosque, Arab Street, Bussorah Street and Haji Lane (for quirky shops and bars). You can also walk to Tyrwhitt Road for great coffee and lunch spots. We do enjoy cycling along the Kallang Riverside Park – and it’s only a 15-minute bike ride to Marina Bay. We love biking there for a watermelon juice and a roti prata at Satay by the Bay.
What’s one thing you’d never change? The cultural feel. When you walk around Kampong Glam, you definitely feel like you’re abroad. I would also not change the quirky hipster bars, restaurants and shops.
How about one thing you would change? I wish there were more families with kids the same age as mine around here and a park or beach for kids. I would also change being next to such busy roads as it can be very noisy.
If the city gave you a million dollars to soup up your street, how would you use it? I would demolish the fast-food chains by the MRT and replace them with some of the beautiful Tyrwhitt Road coffee shops. I would also create a green area for kids to kick a ball around.
Beyond the ’Hood What are your favourite Singapore spots for taking out-of-town guests? I wish we could have out-of-town guests! If we could, I would take them to Kampong Glam, Joo Chiat, Little India, Chinatown, MacRitchie Reservoir, the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Bollywood Veggies, the Night Safari and the beaches at Sentosa.
When you’re in need of a dose of culture, where do you go? To our local independent cinema, The Projector. Or the ArtScience Museum with the kids. If you’re missing home, what do you do? Call my family and friends!
Facilities: Pool, gym, tennis courts
Style and size: Low-rise, 493 units
Nearby supermarket: Two minutes to Cold Storage or FairPrice
Vibe: Friendly and active
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This article first appeared in the May 2021 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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